Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Her Brother is an Asshat

Help a Bitch OutThis request comes from Jane, who is seeking what she thinks is an older traditional Regency: 

I am usually a pretty good web searcher, but I can't seem to come up with the right collection of terms to find this traditional (no sex) Regency:

The older sister was stuck at home caring for an elderly, cranky uncle until he died. The younger brother whooped it up in town. Uncle FINALLY died, the family gathered more for the will than to mourn. Sister became, by the terms of the will, the roadblock to her brother's and cousins' ambitions as well as a decently endowed heiress.

The tale takes place in the country in winter; we have the requisite beastly storm.

Our Heroine escapes inept attempts on her life, a valuable triptych disappears, brother's near-sightsighted bride arrives and is appalled to discover that Dear Uncle was a knight, not a baronet, so she will not be Lady Whatever as she had anticipated.

Brother (the clunch) decides he will use his bride's considerable dowry to purchase the house left to his sister.

The main action takes place in the library, because fires must be kept up to keep the books from damp, so it is the one decently warm room in the entire house, which was in some disrepair as I recall.

There is a French-Canadian groom/servant attached to Our Hero, who is, of course, endowed with looks, intelligence, humour, wit and discretion; he is quite likable despite that.

I have visions of a Signet Regency cover in mind, but I am not certain.

Does anyone remember this book, fondly or otherwise? I would get a huge kick out of re-reading it if anyone can HaBO.

Do you recall this book? The heroine's brother sounds like a complete tool. I hope he gets some serious assing in the end of the book.


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  1. 1
    Cee Marsden says:

    Sadly, no, but if anyone does ID this one I *need* it. :)  I have always had a thing for romance novels with libraries (okay, let’s be honest: I have always wanted to be rich and have a library in my house).

  2. 2
    katherinelynn_04 says:

    Portions of this sound a lot like ‘Unveiled’ by Courtney Milan (it’s not the book you’re looking for, sadly). The brother is a complete asshat and the heroine is pretending to be her father’s old nurse. The Hero ends up inheriting the estate and title at the beginning of the book because he exposes the fact that the former lord’s children were illegitimate (including our h). There are quite a few library scenes, if I do recall correctly. So while it’s not the book you’re looking for, it is really good.

  3. 3
    Rebecca says:

    Don’t know it, but I agree I’d like to read it.  The French Canadian groom is an odd interesting detail.  Agree that whooping it up in town while sister is stuck nursing makes the brother less than heroic, but unless he’s behind the attempts on the heroine’s life, using the bride’s dowry to purchase the house from his sister seems like a fairly logical and humane solution.  Presumably that would be the house where he and his wife would live, and if he pays his sister a fair price it’s no more than many families do when there’s property to be divided.  Are the family Catholic?  It would be an explanation for the French Canadian, and the triptych, and provide for priest’s holes and secret passages and lots of scope for inept murder attempts….now I really do want to read this.

  4. 4
    Kathryn says:

    I know this one; I even still have it. It’s The Heywood Inheritance (aka The Love Match) by Catherine Fellows. Dell published it in the US.

    Fellows wrote only four books to my knowledge—this one, Leonora, Entanglement, and Vanessa. They were all regencies and all originally published in 70s. She might have been British, I think all four books were originally published in Britain and then published in the States. I know nothing else about her. I wish she had written more. I still have all four novels, tucked away somewhere because I enjoyed them so much.

  5. 5
    Jane says:

    Thanks for posting my HaBO! My very first request, so I am a bit excited.

  6. 6
    Jane says:

    That’s it! Thank you so much. I will hunt it down and trap it in the Canadian grand manner.

  7. 7
    Susan Reader says:

    There’s one more book, The Marriage Masque—but I think that’s it.  It’s too bad, because she’s a very good writer.

  8. 8
    Kathryn says:

    Forgot about the Marriage Masque. I also have that one tucked away somewhere. Yeah she was really was a good Regency writer and I always wonder what happened to her. I kept hoping that I would find more books by her, but no such luck.

  9. 9

    I was inspired by this post to look up one of my old favorites in the genre…“Sherida” by Judy Turner.  I read that one to death, but lost my copy through many moves.  Now I shall have to hunt it down, and will be looking for some of Ms. Fellows’ books as well!

  10. 10
    GhengisMom says:

    awesome! Well done!

  11. 11
    henofthewoods says:

    Keep checking – Abe has it for $10 from the UK or Canada and $3.50 or so for the newer titled version in the US.…

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